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Sasha Maslov September 20, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.

Prisoners watching theater. Kharkiv, Ukraine

Sasha Maslov ( b.1984, Ukraine) was Inspired and taught by his father, Guennadi Maslov, and later his teacher and mentor, Oleg Shishkov, he became an aspiring young photographer who now resides in New York city. Sasha works in editorial photography and is best known for his social documentary projects around Eastern Europe, especially in his native country.

About the Photograph:

“Here at one of the penal colonies in Kharkiv, Ukraine there is depressing view of endless gray walls with barbwire on the background of even grayer sky. Time has ceased to exist these walls. It’s difficult to imagine that people would attempt to seek out something uplifting within the small reality tucked into that of another. But human nature will keep you from dropping your head completely and even when caught in the deepest shaft we can find the strength to seek out traces of light. In the fall of 2005 I documented a group of prisoners who, with the support from one of the local theaters, made an effort to organize a theatrical troupe and stage a play. The play was written by Jonathan Swift long time ago in Ireland and has very little to do with prison reality in Ukraine of 2005. It was extremely moving to observe the inmates mastering acting transitioning from prison slang to calling one another sir and lord, from wearing drab uniforms to donning wigs and bright costumes; as they transform, rehearsing and then performing for the crowd of their inmates and guards.”

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